September 23, 2020 Subject:
A very good aud, good 87 show
Can't go wrong with the sound on this. It has some hickups, but those are in the actual mix or in the musician's (Jerry's) equipment, not in the recording.
The fourth of what has to be a record of 6 shows played at the good ol' Rectum in Philadelphia, this show starts with the fourth appearance of the Neville Bros.' Hey, Pocky Way, all of them on this tour. This is a fun way to start a show with it's bouncy playing and good energy. The rest of the first set is pretty blase until Cassidy kicks into overdrive, Brent laying in some unusual harmonics, and then Jerry explodes all over Deal, ripping out one peak after another.
The long (for 87) second set features a lot of very strong playing but also some slop both vocally and instrumentally, plus some imperfect sound. Spencer Davis singing Gimme Some Lovin' makes this a special version, and he lays down some tasty guitar licks as well. China Cat suffers from a serious lack of volume on Bob's guitar (either it was Healy playing tricks or they just turned it down when Davis came on stage and forgot to turn it back up). Also, Jerry muffs a large part of one verse. Once they get the jam going, although it has some fits and starts, they keep at it and eventually build to a huge peak. I Know Your Rider also features strong play from Jerry, but he brings it down low before the end for some reason. Samson finds Jerry ready to get started but the rest of the band (other than the drummers) lost in space, so Jerry has to back up and wait for them. Terrapin has some missed notes from Jerry and lacks an extended middle jam, though it finishes strong as usual. 9/18 Terrapin is much stronger.
The after drums part features a powerful space leading into the entrancing Handsome Cabin Boy jam. I admit I was getting tired of it by about the 7th time through (I was at this show as well as the last 3 at MSG), but listening back, it's just gorgeous. Then comes a little tease of Playin' before they segue into a sub-par Wheel. Oh it was played well enough, but suffered from a lack of high-register sweet Jerry guitar, until the end when there was some, but that went too soon into Truckin', which was typically 80's-short. Stella had Jerry going for the intense, wailing Tiger tone, but this resulted in screeching feedback; like the equipment wasn't set up just exactly right for the first show that tour at that venue. The sweet Tiger sound came off beautifully, but Bob cut it off with the first chord of Sugar Magnolia. Oh well, it was a hot Sugar Mag closer. More sloppiness on Baby Blue capped this show.
3 1/2 star show, rounded down. Extra half star or so for Spencer Davis and the HCB jam. Pretty much average.